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MARCH 2011







REFRIGERATION Sophisticated storage systems keeping food fresher for longer, more capacity, less wastage, less energy consumption. The cooling market in the UK is responding to 21st century consumer demands

DIGITAL RADIO Digital Radio “is the future”, but that future is still unclear as the trade grapples with the unknowns of digital “migration” and no definite timetable is in place. George Cole investigates the technologies, the politics and the opinions that are attempting to shape this uncertain future

SPOTLIGHT ON HAIER Get Connected talks to the Chinese manufacturer’s main man in Europe

IN BUSINESS John Reddington on closing the sale

GROWTH FROM KNOWLEDGE GfK facts and figures on the UK cooling market

DOING THE BUSINESS Independent retailer Gillmans on selling warranties

GEORGE COLE GETS CONNECTED YouView: taking the time to get it right

BACKCHAT Industry eavesdroppings and a 2-minute interview

The Platinum collection combines innovative technology and stunning aesthetics with environmental credentials. One day all kitchens will perform this well.

“Powerful and effective with very good filter efficiency” Trisha Schofield, Head of Testing, Good Housekeeping Institute

SEBO Airbelt D Designed to give you more SEBO owners will testify that vacuum cleaners simply don’t come any better. The new SEBO Airbelt D is the latest addition to the range and is truly exceptional in its performance and features. Working in collaboration with Achim Heine, Professor of Design and member of the German Design Council, SEBO have created a striking new cylinder cleaner which dynamically combines form and function. Innovative features like the 15.5m reach and ErgoGrip handle make cleaning easier and more effective. And there is an added bonus – it looks good too. Behind the understated, stylish exterior lies a powerhouse of performance. For example, the new SEBO Turbofan motor uses the latest turbine technology to generate incredible suction. A technologically advanced cone shaped hose further boosts suction power, giving the highest levels of cleaning performance. Sound good so far? Find out how the new SEBO Airbelt D has been designed to make life easier, by going to to download the brochure.

The SEBO Airbelt D More capacity, more cleaning range, more performance.

15.5m cleaning range Extra range, extra convenience

6l bag capacity Extra long life bags

i-Power Integrated power control

SEBO The Floorcare Professionals For our complete range please call 01494 465533 or visit The SEBO range includes the X Series Uprights, Felix Uprights and K Series Cylinders. Made In Germany


Editorial & Publishing Director: Terry Heath Telephone: 01420 88633  Magazine Advertising Sales: Graham Southern Telephone: 07936 196517  Creative Director: Will Dobson  Advertisement Production Administration: Will Dobson Telephone: 01342 850 456  Production and Print: Sparta Press, Blackfen, Kent.

Subscriptions & Circulation: GCCD, 13 Premier Avenue Grays, Essex RM16 2SB. Telephone: 07818 088671 Fax: 01375 370436  Annual subscription rate (inc. postage): UK £88; Overseas £108. Copyright © 2011 Mud Hut Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the publisher. Get Connected is published by Mud Hut Publishing Ltd., Alresford House, 60 West Street, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7EH.

Get Connected. Greyfriar Cottage, Winchester Road, Chawton, Alton, Hampshire. GU34 1SB

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Editorial comment

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

The Word

In and around the industry / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Focus on Haier

René Aubertin talks to Get Connected / / / / / / / / / / / /

George Cole Gets Connected

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

The Product Gallery

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /


Smarter, more sophisticated, good-looking and practical. Fridges and freezers are a highlight retail opportunity for 2011 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

The Future of Radio

George Cole attempts to shed some light on this complicated and highly charged subject / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

In Business

John Reddington on Closing the Sale / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Doing the Business

Independent retailer Gillmans talks about the profit potential of warranty sales / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Growth from Knowledge

GfK facts and figures on the UK cooling market / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

From the Bench

Alan Bennett shedding optimum light on TV viewing / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /


Industry comment and a 2-minute interview with Jon Brennan, commercial manager of New World

Baumatic’s premium range, exclusively from a premium distributor We believe you deserve nothing but the best, so we’re delighted to announce that Baumatic’s premium range of ovens and hobs are exclusively available from BCG. That means you’re guaranteed the best of the best and because it’s from us, the best prices too.

0870 60 60 601

MARCH 2011

Editor in Chief: Marlinda Conway Telephone: 01420 88633 

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Marlinda Conway Editor in Chief


MARCH 2011



t’s just a couple of months into 2011, and it’s a year that appears already to be living up to its early promise as another difficult one (“challenging” is the current preferred term from analysts who want to project realism but also want to avoid accusations of pessimism). We, as a trade publication that has the interests of the electrical industry at heart, have always tried to look for the positives, and to emphasise the resilience and resourcefulness of the manufacturers and retailers who carry the burden of seeing us through another “challenging” period. But where do we look now for the positives? Wider economic circumstances beyond our control have seen inflation rising, consumer confidence falling, retail trade diminishing and consumers’ disposable income under threat from Government spending cuts and growing unemployment. The effects on our own industry can’t be lightly glossed over, even by the most positive of commentators: there have been more failures of well established independent electrical retail businesses, and there will be more to come – always a sad and unsettling prospect in an industry that, while it may be very competitive, still has a strong fellow feeling for those who have been engaged in the same hard and demanding business, and have been forced out of it by relentless economic pressures for which they are largely not to blame. Not a great attempt at positivity so far. But this is the season of manufacturers’ product launches - a time when they present their new wares, their strategies and their promises of support to their retail partners – and there is no lack of positive thinking among the first of this season’s offerings. There is no lack of outstanding products, both in white and brown goods, and at least retailers can tell their customers that they’re getting more technology, more reliability, more functional practicality and more sheer value for money out of their electricals than at any time in the last century. Manufacturers are also emphasising the training and support they are prepared to offer to their dealers. Keeping value in the business, trading up at every opportunity, selling the benefits of genuinely superior products and encouraging investment in performance and quality are all in the best interests of both manufacturers and retailers, and all require strong partnerships and mutual understanding and support. Mr Cameron’s “we’re all in this together” rallying call may ring very hollow to businesses who are up against it and can’t see any of the cabinet in the same ocean, let alone the same boat, but for retailers and manufacturers who rely on each other for mutual survival it does have a more convincing resonance. In white goods, the task of turning a profit appears to be slightly less difficult than in consumer electronics. The white goods renewal cycle will continue to produce opportunities to sell up, the product improvements are startlingly clear, and more realistic pricing is taking hold. In consumer electronics, the old blight of commoditisation is still driving prices down, and the constant churn as the next “big thing” replaces the last technological wonder remains rapid and relentless. Consumer electronics, and especially the crucial TV sector, requires fresh developments on a regular basis, and with the flat panel “revolution” now largely accomplished, 2011 seems to be about 3D and – perhaps more significantly – Smart TV. Neither of these is an easy sell for mass market consumers. The manufacturers who can refine, simplify and open up these technologies to a mass audience, and support their dealers in selling them in volume by ensuring the proposition is explained and the benefits made plain to everyone, will have the best chance of reaping some rewards.

Terry Heath Editorial & Publishing Director

Will Dobson Creative Director

James McIntosh Consultant Home Economist

Lynne Henry Communications Officer, GfK Marketing Services

George Cole Consumer Electronics Consultant

Graham Southern Advertising Sales

Average net circulation for the 12 issues distributed between Jan-Dec 2008 is 6,228

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La vita è bella,

and to help consumers live it Zanussi is dedicated to maximizing precious leisure time and taking away the chores and complications that get in the way. For example, your customers can enhance their cooking experience and their kitchen with the Zanussi ZOD580X, a stunning-looking AA rated fully integrated double multi-function oven. With multifunction cooking in the main oven, plus conventional cooking with single or dual circuit grill in the top oven, this is a versatile all-rounder you can recommend with confidence. And when it comes to cleaning the oven cavities, the catalytic liners make it faster and easier, releasing more time for the good life. On the outside there’s been no compromise on looks, and the chic square shape – echoed throughout the Zanussi range - is finished in fingerprint-proof stainless steel to make it easier to clean and stay looking this good.


It’s an established fact that oven cleaning is one of the most hated chores in the home. Who wants to spend their precious time on hands and knees scrubbing at grease and burnt-on food, often with powerful caustic chemicals? This means it’s a task that many are reluctant to tackle, and it gets put off, to the detriment of oven performance and the satisfaction of a fresh, gleaming oven interior. Zanussi understands that your customers value time for living, not for drudgery, and that’s why the top of the range multifunction oven Zanussi ZYB594X comes with Pyrolytic cleaning. So many people are simply not aware that there are ovens that can clean themselves to good-asnew showroom standards, so it’s an outstanding feature for retailers to


emphasise. Pyrolytic cleaning incinerates all grease, burnt on fat and food residues at high temperatures, leaving just a pile of ash that can be brushed away leaving the oven clean and gleaming. There is no more effective or entirely effortless way to clean the oven. One touch of a button and the ZYB594X quietly gets on with the job, freeing your customer to do something more interesting. Behind the stylish exterior, the Zanussi ZYB594X single multi-function oven is an A energy rated top performer, delivering the best in cooking functions alongside the extra leisure to enjoy it.


Ultimately, cookers are for cooking good food, and like all Zanussi’s cooking appliances the multifunction ZCV663M delivers the ability to do just that. It’s an ideal freestanding choice for people who like style, ease of use and plenty of cooking capacity. The large ovens are designed to cook several dishes at once, taking the stress out of preparing a meal. The main oven is energy rated A -10% (10% more efficient than an energy class A) and the top oven is rated A, meaning savings on electricity bills. The ZCV663M combines all the benefits of Thermaflow® True fan cooking with conventional cooking, and features additional functions such as pizza setting and thermal grilling. Available in stainless steel or white, its Italian-designed good looks match its versatile functionality to complete the expression of the “la vita è bella” lifestyle. ZCV663M: A STUNNING FREESTANDING COOKER IN STAINLESS STEEL OR WHITE WITH MULTIFUNCTION MAIN OVEN



Zanussi also understands the importance of safety within the kitchen, which is why the cookers and ovens have a number of safety features designed for peace of mind. Oven doors are double glazed and air cooled, which reduces the outer touch temperature for added safety and comfort. Residual indicators are also a key safety feature, warning when the ceramic hob is still hot. 

CONSUMER PROMOTION DURING MARCH AND APRIL ON ZANUSSI COOKING APPLIANCES As further support for retailers during early Spring, Zanussi will be launching an exciting cooking promotion: Consumers who buy a selected Zanussi cooker or oven and hob from participating retailers between 7 March and 14 April 2011 get a FREE Gino D’Acampo pan set and cook book. Purchase of a freestanding cooker secures a 3-piece pan set and book, while purchase of a selected oven and hob secures a 5-piece pan set plus book IN ADDITION, all qualifying purchasers have the chance to win a unique Gino D’Acampo pasta recipe, created and demonstrated personally and exclusively by Gino for them and their family!

For Trade information call Zanussi on 08445 610610



High street sales growth falls sharply Positive year for in February Growth in high street sales volumes fell well below expectations in February, but prices rose to their highest in twenty years, according to the CBI’s latest quarterly Distributive Trades survey. The poll showed that 36% of retailers saw the volume of sales rise in the two weeks to February 16th, while 30% said they fell, compared with a year ago. The resulting balance of +6% was well below expectations (+25%), and the slowest pace of year-on-year growth in eight months. At the same time, price inflation rose considerably, with a balance of +73% recorded as the highest since 1991. Prices are forecast to rise at a similar pace in March, while sales growth in the month is expected to be zero. Sales volume trends were weaker across nearly all retail sectors in February, with durable household goods performing particularly poorly, at -90% – the lowest level since June 2009.


MARCH 2011

Big UK shopping centre player reports profits up in 2010


Hammerson, a major owner of shopping centres in the UK including the Bull Ring in Birmingham and Brent Cross in London, has reported profits last year of £620 million, overall occupancy up from 95.4% to 97.3% and aggregate visitor footfall rising. Hammerson’s pre-tax profits of £620 million included property sales and revaluations, but even with these stripped out underlying profits, at £144.5 million, were up 11.2% on the previous year. However, a Hammerson spokesperson warned that “the effects of increased taxation and restrictions on government spending may mean that some tenants, principally in the UK retail sector, face difficult operating conditions and there is a risk that they will be unable to pay their rents.”

Indesit Company Indesit Company has posted full year 2010 revenues up 10.2% to €2.9 billion and EBIT up 55% to €184 million, in what it described as “a very positive year despite difficulties in certain markets.” Net profits rose from €35 million to €90 million. In the UK & Ireland, Q4 demand rose ahead of the same period in 2009, but fell slightly for the full year. Despite this, a “significant increase” in revenues for the period was recorded. The company said this was mainly due to higher sales volumes and, to a lesser extent, the appreciation of sterling. Chairman Andrea Merloni said the results show that the company is “solid and highly efficient.”

Suite of new websites for GDHA GDHA has launched new websites for each of its four brands – Stoves, Belling, Lec and New World – and a complementary site which directs consumers to independent retail stores participating in the group’s Range Centre initiative. An online image library has also been introduced to make product photography, logos, brand guidelines, POS and corporate advertising materials more easily accessible, and the brands are also now engaging with consumers and trade partners via social media channels Twitter, Facebook and You Tube.

Neff sales guys are the tops Neff Area Business Manager Ray Foley has won the BSH ‘TOP’ Award for 2010 – an annual Award which recognises the top sales personnel in the BSH Group worldwide. Foley has covered the West Country for Neff for 14 years, during which time he has collected several awards, including the Ray McMillan trophy for Area Business Manager of the Year and the KBSA Supplier Award.  This year the Ray McMillan trophy was presented to Stuart Wilson, who covers the East and West Midlands for the brand. It is the second time in his seven years on the road with Neff that Wilson has earned the trophy. In 2010 he exceeded his sales target by more than a million pounds.

John Lewis to open

in Birmingham

John Lewis is to open a full-line department store located adjacent to New Street station in Birmingham City centre. The 250,000 sq ft outlet is scheduled for 2014 and will be one of the largest John Lewis stores outside London, stocking more than 350,000 product lines.

New Sony MD resigns Mohit Parasher, who took over as MD of Sony UK & Ireland Sales Company on 1st January, has resigned his position and returned India for “personal reasons”. Parasher succeeded Steve Dowdle, who after 27 years with Sony Europe announced he was to take early retirement, remaining with the company until the end of March 2011 to lead the Sony UK Governance Committee and support Parasher in the early months of his new role. Dowdle is, for now, back at the helm.


AEG brings its first upright to the UK


MARCH 2011

AEG: New branding, Neue Kollektion


AEG has taken steps to bring the brand back closer to its core consumer, with a restyled identity and a new collection of products of minimalist design. At a launch event in London, AEG introduced the Neue Kollektion, encompassing cooking, cooling, laundry and dishwashing products, under a revamped logo incorporating an icon that continues to reflect that the brand is part of the Electrolux group, but in a more subtle manner than before. The overall style has been modified to “look sharper, in line with the new collection’s design philosophy.” The consistency in design values and use of materials across the ranges emphasises, said Electrolux global chief designer Henrik Otto, the combination of minimalism and high technology, superior performance, precision and simplicity that appeals to the brand’s core consumer – the “passionate perfectionist” who demands stunning looks and high performance. Product Manager Sophie Davidson said that the entire Neue Kollektion range would maintain this consistency, not only in looks but in the presentation of relevant performance features and technology. The Neue Kollektion will be supported with major investment in the UK, in what was described as “a pivotal year for the brand.” Five hundred dealers attended the launch, and “we were knocked over by the retail response,” Graham Bremer, Head of Marketing, Electrolux Major Appliances UK, told GC. Positive reaction to the products

was demonstrated by a number of dealers who were caught on camera testifying that they intended to stock more AEG products. “We will continue to invest significantly in the AEG brand in the UK”, Bremer added. As well as an extensive consumer and trade communications programme and dealer support through POS and merchandising materials, the brand will benefit from the AEG Training Academy in Luton, and the rollout of the new Mobile Training Academy which will take the message around the country. Highlights of the Neue Kollektion include the new MaxiKlasse™ ovens, offering cooking on five levels in a 74-litre cavity, a new ThermiC°Air System and an A-20% energy rating; the MaxiSense® induction hob with flexible zones and TFT display; a range of CrystalLine modular hobs; hob accessories, and the wall-mounted ‘Street Hood’. In cooling, side-by-sides, matching fridges and freezers and a range of combi products, all with LCD touch control, were on display. A new feature in this category is ‘soft rise’ LED lighting. In dishwashing, the new ProClean models have five spray levels; ‘Auto Off ’, a feature that does away with standby mode, and operate at just 37dB on Extra Silent mode. And new to laundry, the 9kg ProTex PLUS washer with an A+++-20% energy rating, reported to protect clothes 30% better than previous models, and ProTex heat-pump dryer, with ‘soft pattern’ drum and special airflow system.

Following the successful launch of the AEG Ultra range of cylinder vacuum cleaners in the UK last year, AEG is bringing its first upright, the Nimble, to the UK after extensive consumer research into what consumers most want in an upright model. The “More Swivel – Less Struggle” theme is carried through in the ergonomic, manoeuvrable, easy-to-use, light and versatile design. At a launch event in London on the same day AEG’s Neue Kollektion was introduced, the Nimble was unveiled. It was demonstrated as the upright that meets the major demands of consumers and addresses perceptions that uprights are big and heavy to use, difficult to manoeuvre around and under furniture, and extremely awkward to use on stairs. Highlights of the new models include the swivel head steering action that gives easy, precise manoeuvrability, the ergonomically placed onetouch electronic display that switches instantly between high and low power, from floor to upholstery and from hard to carpeted floors, and the ergonomic soft grip handle that is not only the controlling handle in upright mode, but also the handle for the one-touch lift-out 4 metre hose and extendable telescopic wand that makes it easy to reach ceilings and to “park” the machine at the foot of the stairs and reach the entire staircase without having to lift the main body of the machine. Also of interest to consumers is the 3-in-1 “versatool” which serves as a crevice tool and also opens out to cope with angled and flat surfaces. The two models in the range, the A8602AZ, expected to retail at £199.99, and the A8605AZ, which has the additions of a carbon filter and turbo nozzle and is expected to retail at £219.99, will be available from May.


Ian Galloway named Director of new Yamaha Audio Visual Division

BSH has announced a new development for its Customer Service department to keep its engineers ahead of the game. Despite recently winning the TEQ award for the second consecutive year (2009 & 2010), the company has introduced an advanced training initiative with the aim of providing an even higher standard of customer service in 2011. The new ‘Customer360’ training programme is initially being undertaken by engineers directly employed by the company. As part of the programme, film clips showing in-depth interviews with customers having received an engineer’s visit will be used for internal analysis and to help train staff in the concept of ‘best practice’. “As with all skills, we need to review and be reviewed regularly to keep on top of our game,” commented BSH Technical Trainer Peter Tolaini. “We have to learn from our mistakes and are prepared to be self critical to achieve this. Complacency is easy; consistency needs practice.”

Alphason launches new range of Viewsmart brackets Alphason has introduced a new collection of Viewsmart brackets, which is said to offer retailers improved margins. The 11-strong range includes flat to wall, tilt & swivel and multi-action options, and according to AV category manager James McCumesky, “initial retailer feedback is that it is definitely on a par with more expensive product on the market.” Alphason is supporting the launch with eyecatching POS and interactive training videos to help retailers mount the brackets. For stores that don’t offer in-house installation, a backup option which provides the services of a market-leading installation company has been introduced.

Ragip Balcioglu succeeds Clayton Witter Beko has confirmed the appointment of Ragip Balcioglu as Managing Director, following the departure of former MD Clayton Witter, who held the role for 8 years, at the end of 2010. Balcioglu began his career with Beko fourteen years ago at parent company Arçelik in Turkey. In 1996 he relocated to Beko Plc as Trading Manager for the UK business, before progressing to the role of Product Marketing Director then on to Sales Director. Commenting on his new position, he said: “I am honoured and excited to have this opportunity to take the company from strength to strength in its 21st year and beyond.”

Indesit Company UK has gained an Award for ‘Excellence in Application of IT’ at the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards. The company attributed the win to its ‘Track and Trace’ logistics system, which has led to a delivery success rate of 99.5% and allowed drivers to cut their journeys by more than 100,000 miles since it launched. Toshiba UK has announced a two-year partnership as the headline sponsor for the Windsor Triathlon. The company is supporting the deal with an integrated marketing programme that includes social media activity, an online campaign and media partnerships.  The PJH Group has appointed Hayley Atkins as Sales Development Manager for the South East. Angie Leeson has joined BBG-Peerless in the role of Trainer and Merchandiser for the Consumer Division Sales Team.

Humax has appointed Neil Ponting in the newly created position of training & merchandising executive and Ben Dunnett as key accounts manager. Jason Dear, currently General Manager of Marantz UK, has been appointed Managing Director of the Consumer Division of D&M Audiovisual. Indesit has been voted the most reliable freestanding cooking brand by readers of consumer magazine Which? The brand’s freestanding cookers received 4 stars for reliability and a score of 90% in a survey completed by 1,547 Which? members. Jon Brennan has been appointed commercial manager for GDHA’s New World brand. He is supported by Candice Powell, who takes on the role of brand manager.

MARCH 2011

‘Best practice’ top priority for BSH Customer Service

form Watford-based Yamaha Electronics UK, and during the ‘90s was credited with significant brand developments. In more recent years he has been central to integrating the AV brand into the Music Company portfolio and leading the campaign to build business and brand awareness. Yamaha’s Audio Visual sales and marketing activities previously came under the banner of Yamaha Music, headed by Robert Webster (pictured right), who was jointly responsible for the Yamaha keyboard business.


Yamaha Music GmbH (UK) has created a dedicated Audio Visual Division, headed by Ian Galloway (pictured left) in the role of Divisional Director. The company said the move signals a decision and determination to expand Yamaha’s UK AV business, and is particularly timely as the product range now encompasses a wide variety of categories. Galloway’s past history with Yamaha dates back to 1981 when he played a pivotal role in the UK re-launch of Yamaha Hi-Fi. In 1986 he helped



BSH invests in new training centres

Neff has made the effort to give the Learning Zone the look and feel of a cookery school, in which the brand’s training team will encourage new dealers to embrace the products and enjoy selling them. For the more experienced, there are opportunities to gain further practical knowledge and a better understanding of sell-up routes. “Training, knowledge and confidence NEFF’S AQUAASSIST® SINGLE OVEN are intrinsically linked with sales,” said Neff Sales Director Mike Jarrett. the benefits of products. “The new Neff Brand Manager training centre will be the best Hannah Groves, whose place for our retailers to get vision created the Neff hands on and learn all about Learning Centre, said it them, enabling them to spread “clearly demonstrates our the word.” commitment to further All three brands used the strengthening our business opening of the new Milton partnerships by investing Keynes-based training facilities in the future for mutually to introduce their 2011 product beneficial long-term growth.” ranges. Although there is Bosch’s new 540m2 training centre incorporates some crossover in technologies interactive and themed areas due to the brands’ shared where retailers will receive pedigree, highlights included, hands-on experience and in-depth from Bosch, a wall cupboard product knowledge. Special Product depth (30cm) steam oven and Zones include a Green area and a microwave and the introduction THE SIEMENS IDOS WASHING of FlexInduction to the brand; Technical Zone, and a room for specific MACHINE WITH AUTOMATIC training on the installation of extractor two new models in dishwashers, DETERGENT DOSING hoods. All training is carried out by Institute the Eco Silence Logixx, with of Leadership and Management qualified staff, and 38dB noise level, and the Exxcel AquaStar, which uses courses offer three levels: basic, refresher and expert. just 6.5 litres of water to wash 13 place settings; and Bosch Brand Manager Ken Humphrey said “2011 in laundry, the Exxcel 7 VarioPerfect washing machine is set to be an exciting year for Bosch.” With the launch with ActiveWater™ system and EcoLogixx 7 condenser of new, innovative appliances across all categories, he tumble dryers, which deliver A-40% energy ratings. added that it is imperative that the consumer knows From cooking specialist Neff, AquaAssist® was the flavour of the day. The brand’s latest cooking concept brings together two established elements of its expertise – built-in ovens and competence in steam technology – to create a method of food preparation which adds extra moisture to the cooking process. The Siemens brand introduced a new lowFrost fridge freezer to its iQ100 cooling range, which “sets the benchmark” for energy efficiency with a rating of A+++ (60% better than a standard A-class). The freezing elements have been hidden in the appliance’s housing and replaced by three glass shelves, creating greater storage in the freezer compartment. New models in laundry included the A+++ energy class i-Dos washing machine incorporating the brand’s first dosing system, and “one of the world’s most energy-efficient washer dryers” featuring an airCondensation drying system that consumes no extra water, thus saving up to 55 litres per cycle.


For Siemens, the central focus of its 421m2 iQ Training Academy is a cooking demonstration area where the brand’s home economists will show trainees how to make the most of products. Demonstrations will be displayed on large, wall-mounted screens so no-one misses the action. Opposite this, fully equipped cooking stations offer visitors an opportunity to gain some hands-on experience via interactive workgroup sessions. The open-plan facility, accessed via a trendy, welcoming reception area, is divided into seven product zones: cooling, laundry, dishwashing, ovens, hobs, hoods and compact appliances. There is also an energy section highlighting the company’s green credentials and featuring an interactive screen showing the potential energy-saving benefits of switching to a Siemens appliance. Training Academy Manager Austin Woods said: “The opening of the Siemens iQ Training Academy reinforces the growing importance of training in the ever-competitive home appliances sector. We want to ensure that our retailers understand the Siemens brand promise and can clearly articulate our competitive differentiation. “We want to set the benchmark in the world of training,” he added. The new Neff Learning Centre has been designed to create a warm and approachable environment with an inspiring, professional feel. 1,000 delegates will attend the purpose-built venue in the next 3 weeks to take the “Neff Journey” through five distinct areas: Learning, Cooking, Working, Listening and Dining. Each area has been carefully designed, through light, colour and texture, to maximise learning and tell the Neff story by emphasising different key aspects of the overall brand experience.

MARCH 2011

The product of a multimillion investment and more than a year’s work was unveiled on 3 March, when domestic appliance group BSH raised the curtain on three brand new, state-of-the-art training facilities for its Siemens, Neff and Bosch brands – each venue distinctly different, and all designed to provide a “premium” training experience.




Haier’s man in Europe René Aubertin, CEO of Haier Europe, has a personal goal: “To make the brand ‘top of mind’ for consumers, to help Haier to become No.1 in the UK and Europe.” And he believes the business now has the right structure in place to achieve this. He talks to Get Connected about the market, his aims, and Haier’s new approach in the UK


MARCH 2011



n 2010, Haier relocated its European headquarters from Italy to France and assigned René Aubertin, former Senior Vice President of Kesa Electricals, to the position of CEO. The appointment was considered by industry commentators as an important departure: it was the first time a non-Chinese executive had been installed as a member of the board. For Aubertin, it “proved the openmindedness” of the Chinese giant, which is classed by Euromonitor as the world’s No.1 white goods brand; for European commentators, it was “a strong sign of the opening of the group on the international market.” Aubertin is also one of seven Haier global Vice Presidents. Jumping the fence from retailer to manufacturer was considered an “exciting prospect” for Aubertin: “There are not so many opportunities to launch a brand in the UK,” he says. Haier was once – as many retailers will recall – a familiar name in the UK market, best known at the early part of the new millennium for its entry-level status in the cooling sector. A decade later, it is a regenerated brand with a decidedly different strategy and values. Late last year, Haier released a statement of intent for its operations within Europe and the UK. The main objective, it said, was “to become one of the top five home appliance brands within the next 5 years.” In the UK, the plan is to position it on the core values of design, energy efficiency and the provision of “innovative and meaningful lifestyle solutions for households.” But Aubertin is under no illusions: “The UK market is ‘value for money’ oriented. Haier

will be marketed on its design, finish and technology, but we need to take a practical approach.” Where Haier will ‘slot in’ in terms of brand status is not in the despatches: “We don’t want to benchmark the brand – it’s not a case of A,B,C,D,” he tells GC, but he commits that the company is “fully ready” to compete with all major MDA brands. On moving the European HQ to France, an important step for Aubertin was to surround himself with a strong marketing team. He operates under the principle of “product, people, people, product”, and believes that Haier employees and retail partners should all share the same vision. “Transparency and teamwork” are main components of his leadership style, and his own multicultural experience, he adds, has proved the importance of building a multicultural team. “The European markets may be very close, but demand is very different,” he says. The UK market he acknowledges as one in which the multiples and mass merchants are key elements, but “the independents still command a significant market share, and are particularly strong in the premium sector.” But then, if there is one common feature of Aubertin’s European territories, it is that “the independents are strong in all.” A point of differentiation in the UK is the presence of the ‘big 3’ [Currys, Comet and Best Buy], and the industry has speculated since Best Buy’s entry into the market whether there is room for all to survive and, importantly, grow. Aubertin believes it is “unlikely” that their collective market share will expand any further, “so there will always

be a ‘big fight’ between the three as they slog it out with each other.” As for the future structure of the market, he comments with certainty that ‘bricks and mortar’ retailing will decline in the coming years as the internet expands. “Multichannel retailing is a winning formula,” he asserts. Haier’s initial focus in the UK is on white goods, but the company is fully committed to the launch of consumer electronics products as well, including technologies such as 3D TV. “CE will be difficult, but it is an opportunity for Haier,” says Aubertin. Although he concedes that Haier can’t compete with the “big four” CE brands, his belief is that there is still some space in the market. But what about the wafer-thin margins in CE? “When there’s no margin, even a small one is good. Haier can offer retail partners a better margin.” The UK is very much part of the route to success for Haier in Europe. Quite simply, “it is needed in order for the company to compete with other big brands.” With the difficult task of supplying the diverse array of channels the region offers – the brand will operate in each and every one – Aubertin is keen to point out that “Haier has enough product [mix] to accommodate all.” He states that he will be “happy” to reach the No.5 position here within five years and believes that the structure to do so is now in place. “The UK team has been rebuilt – with Duan Wei, former Brand & Marketing Manager for the company’s European operation, in the role of Market Director Haier UK & Ireland and Jeff Moody recruited as Sales & Marketing Director – and Haier now has the vision to take off.”


George Cole ” George Cole pinpoints hotspots in the world of consumer electronics. E-mail:

ELF ‘N’ SAFETY GORN MAD mayor of Peterborough tried to rent the 3D movie Piranha from his local Blockbuster, he was refused on health


3D titles because of the hygiene


but, if the history of consumer electronics

Our timings for the launch reflect the scale

risks associated with reusing the

tells us one thing, it’s that it’s better to

and complexity of this project.”

cardboard glasses that come with

be late and get it right than to launch too

them. Blockbuster will, however, sell

soon and get it wrong. I’ve lost count of

“The Digital TV Group welcome today’s

customers 3D movies.

the number of half-baked products and

announcement of the consumer launch

services that have been launched over

of YouView in early 2012. This represents

mistakenly thought a ban on hiring out

the years. They were rushed out onto

another positive development in UK

3D glasses due to the hygiene risks of

the market, and when the reality doesn’t

Connected Television… The DTG remains

sharing glasses applied to the films

match the hype, consumers and retailers

on track to release D-Book 7 version

themselves. The mayor of Peterborough

are disappointed. You rarely get a second

1.0 in March 2011 and looks forward to

was told in his local store that it was

chance in this business.

continuing to work with YouView to make

and safety grounds. It now seems that the member of staff confused the company’s policy of not renting

Blockbuster video store staff

‘against company policy’ for him to

he news that the YouView platform

Halton says this about the delay: “Our focus

is delaying its launch until the

has always been to deliver a product to

middle of next year is disappointing,

consumers that is right, but not rushed...

YouView is the platform supported by

The DTG issued a statement saying:

Connected TV a reality for UK consumers.”

rent the 3D film Piranha on health and

the BBC, ITV, Channels 4 and 5, BT and

safety grounds.

others. It combines Freeview services with

the DTG’s technical standards’ book and

Blockbuster spokesman Steve

The D-Book 7 is the seventh edition of

catch-up services like BBC iPlayer, allowing

it’s vital that YouView meets this standard,

Dauncey has offered to discuss the

consumers to watch broadcast and web

because as the DTG warned, when it read

incident with Cllr Sharp but said the

content on their televisions. YouView-

YouView’s original specification: “Feedback

rental giant had a policy of not renting

compatible TV sets and set-top boxes were

the DTG has received from its membership

3D DVDs because of the hygiene risks

promised for the first half of this year,

suggests that YouView will not derive

associated with different people using

but now the launch is pushed back until

sufficient value from the current approach,

the cardboard glasses that come

“early 2012”, with a trial service beginning

which is unlikely to be adopted universally

with them.

towards the end of the year.

by manufacturers and would therefore

He said: “Because of the hygiene

The main issue seems to be that

cause market fragmentation: this puts at

risks associated with the glasses, such

YouView could not agree technical

risk the quality of consumer experience and

as conjunctivitis, we cannot rent 3D

standards with the Digital Television Group

would ultimately limit the platform’s reach.”

films to our customers.”

(DTG), a consortium of companies that sets

Yes, there is a danger that in delaying

technical standards for digital terrestrial TV.

its launch by a year, YouView risks being

Manufacturers must build their products to

trumped by its rivals, but you can be sure

the DTG’s technical standards if they are to

that if it had rushed onto the market this

use the Freeview and digital tick logos. On

year, the platform would have been dead in

YouView’s website, company CEO Richard

the water.

MARCH 2011

I wouldn’t have believed it. When the


If I hadn’t read it with my own eyes,


Onkyo 5.1-channel TX-SR309 home cinema receiver Onkyo has introduced four new HD-capable home cinema receivers designed to offer “class-leading performance and features” at budget prices. The 5.1-channel TX-SR309 boasts “all new” styling, in a choice of black or silver finishes. RSP £250. 

Front-panel USB port / 3 x HDMI inputs

Advanced music optimiser and gaming audio modes

PLL jitter-cleaning circuitry

Lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio™ decoding

Overlaid on-screen display for easy adjustment of settings

01628 473350

Miele S6730 Red Velvet cylinder vacuum cleaner The 2000W Red Velvet vacuum cleaner is part of Miele’s new S6 range, which comprises five appliances designed to suit a choice of lifestyles. The unit provides an operating radius of 10 metres and variable power settings operated via an RF control handle.  

Velvet-like ‘haptic’ textured finish 3.5-litre HyClean dustbag / active HEPA filter

Smooth-running floorhead / full size turbobrush

Telescopic tube / 3 x accessory tools

01235 554455

Panasonic Eco-Max MC-UL596 vacuum cleaner The MC-UL596 upright is the latest addition to Panasonic’s Eco-Max vacuum cleaner range. The unit incorporates all of the well-favoured features of current models in the range, with the addition of a pet hair turbo brush, manual suction control and an extra long cord length of 8.5m. Automatic height adjustment and a slim, reclining body provide easy vacuuming under furniture.


MARCH 2011

Caple C1081G gas-on-glass hob


The latest addition to Caple’s hob range is this 1000mm x 400mm touch-control model with four gas burners positioned in a horizontal line. The glossy black vitro-ceramic glass finish provides an elegant setting for the contemporary-styled cast iron pan supports. RSP £1032. 

9 power levels per zone / digital power-display

Triple ring burner 4.00kW; rapid burner 3.00kW; 2 x semi-rapid burners 1.75kW; simmer burner 1.00kW.

Cooking timer, safety lock, residual heat indicators

Flame safety device / auto electronic ignition

0117 938 1900

Exo-Max motor generates 350 air watts from 1500 watt input power

2.5-litre dust capacity

Patented 3D inducer fan

Stair hose / hard-floor nozzle with x 2 extension wand

HEPA filter and a filter refresher system

01344 476536


OmniMount Systems NCLP Series wall mounts A/V mounting and furniture brand OmniMount has introduced two low-profile (14mm) flat-screen wall mounts. The NCLP60F (400mm medium fixed mount) and NCLP120F (600mm large fixed mount) are said to provide one of the thinnest profile designs on the market. Both offer a spacesaving footprint and are supplied in eco-friendly packaging. RSP £69.99 and £79.99 respectively. 

Proprietary Level n’ Lock™ technology

0.38” vertical height adjustment for exact panel placement

Sliding lateral on-wall adjustment

4 x independent points of attachment accommodate any hole pattern up to 400mm (NCLP60F) or 600mm (NCLP120F) wide

Built-in kickstand for hassle-free wiring

01280 850004

Maytag MNN20FCS17 side-by-side

Capacity: 31 litres

2 x Inox perforated baking trays, safety shelf, removable side racks, meat probe

Wipe-clean stainless steel cavity with light

Maytag has added another new model (product ref: MNN20FCSl7) to its range of refrigeration appliances. The 20 ft³ side-byside, styled in premium quality stainless steel with full-height doors and concealed hinges, has an efficient A+ energy rating and benefits from Maytag’s IntelliSense® system for fast chilling and freezing and optimum food preservation. The unit incorporates an in-door ice and water dispenser, which frees up 20% of the space inside the freezer.

Triple-glazed removable door clad

Total ‘No Frost’ for maintenance-free operation

Full multi-flow air system for efficient and even temperature distribution

Adjustable 0°C to 4°C zone

Full LCD electronic controls with intuitive user interface

Microban® anti-bacterial filter in fridge

Net capacity: fridge 325 litres / freezer 180 litres

0118 9336 900

New World 50HLGE and 55HLGE high-level grill cookers New World has taken retro-kitsch to the edge with the showing of a pistachio coloured cooker to mark the launch of the brand’s new 50cm and 55cm electric high-level grill models. The 50HLGE and 55HLGE cookers are available in white, but retailers interested in the pistachio version should email 

Fanned electric main oven

Electric grill

Four-zone sealed-plate hob

Wipe-clean enamel oven interior

0844 24 84 14

0844 499 0101

MARCH 2011

Baumatic’s new A-rated compact steam combi oven, part of the brand’s Premium-Line collection, boasts a stylish black finish with stainless steel trim. It has six functions – steam cooking, regeneration, professional cooking, hot air cooking, hot air & steam and low temperature cooking – and comes with 50 preset recipes.


Baumatic BCS460SS steam combi oven




calculation GET CONNECTED

MARCH 2011

The UK cooling market returned to growth in 2010, registering a reassuring overall 3% increase in volume to 2.14 million units, and a 4% increase in value to £662 million. The freestanding category still dominates with 90% of the market, but the higher unit value built-in category is registering faster growth at 4%. (See page 28 for the GfK figures on cooling). Importantly, the shape of the market is changing as consumer needs and aspirations change, and manufacturers are calculating which features and configurations will lead the UK into the second decade of the 21st century



recent survey produced the frightening statistic that 40% of the food bought by UK consumers is thrown away. Much of this is fresh food that has deteriorated in the home before it can all be eaten. With the era of cheap food apparently coming to an end, and a growing interest in fresh ingredients and healthy eating, this means shopping habits will have to change, and that greater demands will be

made upon food storage technologies and capacities to preserve the freshness, texture, taste and nutritional value of different kinds of food for longer. Energy efficiency has also become a focus for many consumers as energy costs climb. For retailers, the challenge is to identify the specific needs of their customer base, and to stock – and be able to explain the benefits of – those brands and models that tick the most boxes.

Big choice, great technology The collective message from manufacturers is that they have it covered, they understand the changing demands of the market, and they’re producing the products that consumers want in 2011 and beyond. As Baumatic marketing manager Rita Balestrazzi says: “We’re concentrating our efforts on developing ways to maximise food preservation. Customers are becoming more tuned in to the cost implications of throwing away food that is past its best.” She cites Baumatic’s Multi Airflow Cooling System, which “maximises airflow, increasing energy efficiency and giving food a longer shelflife.” Energy saving is, she says, increasingly important: “It’s vital that manufacturers continue to design freezers, fridge freezers and fridges that are rated A or A+ for energy efficiency. This offers real value to


“Customers are always keen to find the largest internal capacity available” the customer and it’s important that they understand fully the benefits of upgrading to an energy-efficient machine.” Capacity, as ever, remains a priority, adds Balestrazzi: “Customers are always keen to find the largest internal capacity available. Clever product planning and spatial design can provide a lot more usable space to customers. The average consumer is clued up about such issues and will do their research before buying, comparing like for like in terms of internal capacity versus external dimensions.” She claims that the popularity of Baumatic’s BR 180W frost-free fridge freezer is largely due to its 315 litres gross capacity, based on its “intelligently planned interior.” At AEG, which recently launched its “Neue Kollektion” range of appliances, food preservation technology is also a focus. “Cooking like a professional means having

the best ingredients,” says Andrew Wasdell, local product manager, Food Preservation, Electrolux Major Appliances. “Keeping those ingredients at their best between weekly shopping trips, though, is a challenge.” AEG’s answer is the ProFresh system where fridge and freezer have separate cooling systems, unlike some standard fridge freezers. “This allows us to maintain the right humidity in the fridge, which prevents the food from drying out,” says Wasdell. “Independent tests proved that ProFresh maintains 99% of the water content in food for a week, meaning unchanged freshness and quality.” Latest addition is the ProFresh Plus with MultiAir Flow system, which maintains constant airflow and thus stable storage conditions. The separate cooling systems route has also been taken by GE. David Garden, Commercial Director for GE and Lec, Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, says: “The GE Profile PJU25YGXFSV features GE’s unique ClimateKeeper2 technology which has two separate cooling systems. An independent cooling system for the fresh food section allows humidity levels to increase substantially, helping keep food fresher longer. In addition, five strategically located electronic sensors keep the appliance operating at the most efficient and effective temperature. GE has been able to significantly increase the humidity level and help foods retain their freshness longer and reduce odour transfer. What most of these new features have in common is that they offer users greater precision and control. For example, the newest side-by-side models feature ‘CustomCool bins’ offering individual settings for meats, fruits and vegetables. This acknowledgement by designers that different foods are better preserved at different



temperatures, means that today’s cooling appliances can save consumers money and reduce food waste.” Beko’s range of side-by-side fridge freezers also uses a “smart” cooling system, featuring independent fridge and freezer cooling to deliver higher humidity to the fridge cavity “to prolong the life of fresh fruit and vegetables, whilst preventing odour transfer.” The smart cooling system is available on the ‘A’ rated GNEV320, GNEV220 and GNEV120 models.

What consumers want Apart from sophisticated freshness preservation systems (of which more later), what are consumers looking for in a cooling product? On the surface, the primary

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Freestanding standing firm


drivers appear to be remarkably stable. Ken Humphrey, brand manager of Bosch, believes “the look and price of the appliance are top of the list” while acknowledging that “added features that will help preserve the life of fresh foods such as HydroFresh, ChillerBox and FreshProtectBox are also high on the list. Energy efficiency is coming to the fore, as it can save the customer money by reducing their future energy bills.”

and separate integrated side-by-side fridges and freezers will continue to perform better than their freestanding counterparts over the long-term. Our De Dietrich side-by-side larder refrigeration and freezer models are our bestselling cooling products.” Les Wicks, head of product and buying at Beko, tells a similar story. “In 2010 there was a clear move towards brands offering cooling appliances with large capacities and energy


MARCH 2011

“When it comes to the purchase decision, the price is still the number one criterion after the niche size” Richard Walker, sales and marketing director, De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances, who represents the De Dietrich and Fagor brands where the cooling offer is concentrated in the built-in category, concurs. “In terms of built-in cooling, the most important requirements for consumers are size and capacity, followed by energy efficiency. Size is the ultimate consideration, as the appliance has to fit within a given design template.” Energy efficiency is important, but Walker points out that “while much is made of the running costs of a 24/7 appliance, an A rated fridge freezer costs on average £26.42 per year to run and an A+ model costs less than £20.” (source: Energy Savings Trust). He goes on to note that retailers are more and more opting to display fully integrated cooling products, and “consumers are therefore opting to purchase these types of cooling appliances as part of their kitchen package, where previously they may have considered a large American fridge freezer or colourful freestanding unit.” He also highlights the steady decline of US-style side-by-side fridge freezers (down 18.9% in value in 2010) and the rapid growth (up 346.2% in value) of integrated side-byside units. “We believe,” he says, “that the built-in market for integrated fridge freezers

efficient credentials.” He also notes: “We have seen a noticeable trend in the refrigeration sector with consumers continuing to move towards built-in products. Within the Beko built-in range 50/50 fridge freezers are the most popular.”

Ruth Ferguson, Marketing Manager at Gorenje, speaks up for the still-dominant freestanding appliance: “We are finding that consumers are looking for a refrigerator that makes a real design statement, yet also offers a large, flexible capacity and good energy rating. For this reason, our consumers appreciate our freestanding refrigeration models, as these offer more possibilities in terms of design and finishes, and also feature excellent energy ratings and superior functionality.” And Joan Fraser, product development & training manager at Smeg UK, is also keen to underline the enduring consumer appeal of the freestanding “statement” appliance, while acknowledging that practicalities always have a part to play. “The first things consumers look for in cooling appliances are size and capacity,” she says. “No matter the product wish list, the size of the kitchen and what it will take will dictate the initial product shortlist. The second considerations are design and style. Smeg is seeing strong demand for designled, freestanding appliances; iconic products have broad public appeal and consumers are willing to spend money on products that make them smile. There are strong, emotive reasons to buy bold, stylish appliances and any anxiety in making a large purchase is offset when style meets perfectly with functionality.” Caroline Guillermard, Product Marketing Manager at Maytag, is another advocate of larger-format appliances: “For most, having had a big refrigeration appliance with the benefit of additional functionality and having created the space in the kitchen layout (not much else slips into 908mm) they will remain



Haier’s New Side by Side Fridge Freezers Haier is launching three stunning new side-by-side refrigerators in a new mirror glass finish available in red, black and white. These luxury refrigerators feature A+ energy rating, water and ice dispenser, spill-proof shelves and electronic controls and display. The new mirror glass finish is a real alternative to stainless steel and would suit any modern kitchen.

A Haier’s 3-Door Fridge Freezers The ergonomic design of our 3-door fridge freezers has made such an impression that it’s already scooped two prestigious awards, the Plus X and the Red Dot Design award, and they have just been nominated for a Get Connected award in 2011. The unique feature of our 3-door fridge freezer is the easy-access freezer drawers, which make the freezer’s contents easily visible saving both time and energy.



0114 254 2400

Haier_Feb11_revised3.indd 1

01264 334596

Other key features include: an energy rating of A+ (with energy savings of up to 25% compared to traditional A class models), frost-free, spillproof shelves, full tower LED lighting at the rear of the fridge, providing an excellent view of all contents even when the appliance is fully stocked, a foldable wine rack that creates extra space when not in use, and electronic controls and display for easy management.

Haier UK Head Office: Haier Europe UK, First Floor The Mill, Abbey Mill Business Park, Lower Eashing, Godalming, Surrey GU7 2QJ Tel: 01483 411817

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15/02/2011 13:17



a purchase favourite. The two- and three-door side-by-side is still and will be nurtured and replaced for years to come. The development of the three-door side-by-side has been a success. Maytag’s Trilogy has a convenient two-door top mounted refrigerator. The two smaller doors mean greater versatility, and below the fridge is a sensible full-width freezer drawer that pulls out, making every item visible, even at the back.”

Versatility Haier – claiming to be the first company to bring 3D refrigeration to the UK - says it’s “a trend which has proved very successful. Three door technology is popular with consumers as it allows easier access and management of frozen foods. Haier is currently the only brand offering this fridge in a 60cm width, suitable for smaller spaces.” In 2011 Haier introduces

more versatility to multi-door, multi-drawer options with the ‘MyZone’ 184cmx60cm refrigerator, incorporating a middle section which can be independently controlled from -18 degrees C to +5 degrees C, giving consumers the flexibility to use this section as a fridge or a freezer, depending on their needs throughout the year. LG’s new 2-door, 3-drawer model features a drawer which can be switched from fridge to freezer storage. Hoover candy marketing director Steve Macdonald notes that “we are still seeing a movement away from the large volume American style fridge freezers, although taller, larger capacity separate fridges & freezers are proving more popular. Our research demonstrates that 50/50 style fridge freezers are increasing in popularity with greater demand for four drawer freezers that provide extra freezing capacity, and this has been reflected in the design configuration of our new range of Hoover Dynamic fridge freezers. Iain Starkey, Hotpoint Brand Manager, says “consumers’ first priority is to find a cooling appliance that fits into and suits the design of their kitchen. The choice of built-in or freestanding is a personal one – some people prefer the clean lines of a built-in kitchen, whereas others like to make a bold style statement with a focal point fridge freezer like the Hotpoint Quadrio. The Quadrio’s configuration of two main fridge doors and two pullout freezer drawers means consumers can open just one fridge door or one freezer drawer at a time. This means that less warm

air gets in (or cold air gets out), keeping the internal environment as constant as possible. The Trilogic from Indesit, adds Indesit trade marketing manager Gina Gray, “has two transparent flexible cool boxes that can be used in the lower part of the fridge to store fresh meat and fish, or in the upper zone as handy cheese boxes.”

More for less Mike Jarrett, sales director at Neff, admits that, even in the premium market, “when it comes to the purchase decision, the price is still the number one criterion after the niche size,” but contends that storage technology (such as Neff ’s VitaFresh in the CoolDeluxe range) to keep food fresher longer is a growing priority. And while large capacity is important, there are more ways than one to get it. “American style Side by Sides are a style statement, but people soon realise that the capacity (especially in the freezer) isn’t that big. Thus the trend goes to a ‘Euro side-byside’ (larder fridge and freezer connected together).” For Jane Massey, brand manager at Siemens Domestic Appliances, the added value of sophisticated storage technologies is the future of cooling. “Smart cooling,” she says, “is the latest intelligence from a cooling perspective. The two key benefits of today’s intelligent cooling appliances are that they are energy-efficient and they preserve food for much longer – both of which will have a direct impact on consumers’ pockets, which in

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“The two- and three-door side-by-side is still and will be nurtured and replaced for years to come” today’s tough economic climate can only be a positive outcome.” Siemens’ coolConcept built-in range incorporates Siemens Intelligent Cooling System which can improve efficiency by as much as 10%, and also the vitaFresh and hydroFreash technologies to maintain optimum storage conditions for a variety of foods, prolonging their life by 3 times or more. Whirlpool, known for its commitment to R&D, has a comprehensive view of what consumers are looking for. “Regardless of what type of

cooling appliance the consumer is looking to buy,” says Dean McKelvie, product marketing manager, freestanding, “ they expect added value for their money and features such as frost free refrigeration, ice and water dispensers, good capacity and long-term storage, even on basic entry level models. They are looking for large capacity, with food preservation capability, intelligent and flexible interior design that can be customised according to their changing family needs – this is just as important as the exterior as the refrigeration appliance is the most frequently used appliance in the kitchen. And they want information on energy ratings and what this means in terms of running costs and annual savings.” Whirlpool next generation 6th Sense® technology has been applied to the cooling ranges, and “very new,” says McKelvie, is the addition of Fresh Control technology, with the purpose of “extending the quality and lengthening food storage times. “This happens throughout the entire refrigerated cabinet, and not in just one specified, humidity controlled drawer, so all food groups can benefit from this new technology.”

Present and future


For the present, price and space considerations will remain as priorities, but greater capacity in a small footprint, versatile storage options and energy saving are becoming important. The “Euro” concept of side-by-side is a realistic alternative to the aspirational US-Style side-by-


side, and three, four or more doors, providing flexible options, are becoming more popular. Sophisticated storage technologies, keeping fresh foods fresh for longer and extending the life of cooked meats, fruit and vegetables, are in evidence now across most brands, who have their own systems of “zoning” and temperature and humidity control. Freestanding still dominates, but built-in has shown most growth over the past year, and although it still has a long way to go to challenge the “traditional” freestanding formats, the shift looks set to continue beyond 2011.



As the television world marches towards the digital switchover, the future for radio remains unclear. Everyone thinks that the future is digital, but no one knows when this will happen – or how it will be achieved. The government’s Digital Radio Action Plan says that any digital radio switchover will be consumer-led, and before the switchover happens, at least 50% of radio listening should be digital; DAB coverage should be comparable with FM coverage, and local DAB services should reach 90% of the population and all major roads. George Cole reports




MARCH 2011

he latest digital radio statistics released by Digital Radio UK (DRUK) state that 25% of radio listening is now via digital sources (DAB, internet and Digital TV) and 45% of all radio listeners listen to digital radio every week. Cumulative sales of DAB radios have reached more than 12 million pieces. “DAB is in 36% of all homes,” adds Ford Ennals, DRUK chief executive. “Twenty-one million people listen to digital radio across multiple platforms each week. Digital radio is not a niche, minority interest, it is mainstream.” DAB is by far the biggest digital radio platform, accounting for around two thirds (63.2%) of all listening hours on digital in Q4 2010, according to figures from the radio audience research body Rajar. But although DAB listening increased by 22% year-onyear in the quarter, the platform still faces a number of challenges. Colin Crawford, director of marketing at PURE, thinks that the biggest of these are: “In-car adapters to convert the 30 million or so in-car radios;


getting agreement on who pays for the rollout of the local and regional services, and keeping retailers enthused about the opportunity that DAB will deliver in the face of media negativity.” Owen Watters, sales and marketing director at Roberts Radio, also lists the above, and adds that “content also needs to be addressed – it needs to be compelling enough and more exclusive to incentivise consumers to switch to DAB.” Philips also sees cars and coverage as major challenges, as well as “consumers’ lack of awareness of the benefits of DAB over FM.”

Switchover target The 2015 target for the possible start of the digital radio switchover divides opinion. DRUK’s Ennals says “the target date is for the industry to be ready for switchover – we are not asking consumers to prepare for that date. My own view is that the switchover could happen in the next five years and certainly within ten years.” Philips believes the process will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but one which will ultimately result in DAB being the radio format of the future. However, as 75% of consumers still receive radio from non-DAB sources, the government’s  PHILIPS CEM3000B: AN INCAR DAB SOLUTION

2015 timescale is somewhat challenging. “The digital switch-off for 2015 seems to have become a double-edged sword,” the company says. “The primary incentive of offering consumers lots of new digital services is not really there yet. Mass listening and good penetration is a must.” PURE’s Crawford says the 2015 target is “a real challenge, but just about achievable if everyone (broadcasters, government, manufacturers and retailers) actually all pull in the same direction, and stop arguing in public.” “Our opinion today is the same as it’s always been,” comments Roberts’ Watters. “Although DAB is the future of radio, 2015 is not realistic. There is a lot of work to do to overcome the challenges highlighted above and we strongly feel that we should not force the issue upon the consumer. Rather, we need to look at ways of getting our industry into a ‘digital-ready state’, responsibly and honestly, regardless of how long it takes. We would do well to remember that following the launch of FM it took over 20 years to become the mainstream format we know and love today.”

Adapting to ‘the plan’ Despite these differences, the Digital Radio Action Plan has been largely welcomed by the industry. Ben Law, Sony’s audio category marketing manager, says: “We broadly support the goals of the Digital Radio Action Plan as this means that a broader range of content will be accessible.” PURE’s Crawford adds: “We’re 100% engaged

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across all aspects of the plan. There are, of course, details we disagree with, but our engagement ensures that our views are being heard and acted upon.” Roberts Radio also supports the action plan unconditionally, according to Watters, but “the timescales outlined are unrealistic as there is so much work to do.” Conservative estimates put the number of analogue radios in homes and cars at around 100-150 million and the action plan talks of digital adapters or converters for analogue radios. How realistic is this proposal? “We expect most people will choose to buy a digital radio rather than convert an existing radio, particularly as digital radios are now so price competitive,” comments DRUK’s Ennals. “But we’re encouraging manufacturers to see that there’s an opportunity for converters. Many

“As 75% of consumers still receive radio from non-DAB sources, the government’s 2015 timescale is somewhat challenging”


MARCH 2011

people have an emotional attachment to their radios and we’d like to see a range of affordable, effective adaptors.” But the industry’s attitude towards digital radio converters is generally cool. PURE’s Crawford says there’s no case for adapters in his view. “With digital TV, a very low cost set-top box could transform your old TV. In radio, any such adapter will be roughly the same cost as a radio, and most people would prefer to simply buy a new radio.” Philips, meanwhile, says its preferred route is to offer a very wide range of dedicated DAB products in order to guarantee all consumers receive the same high quality experience. Roberts’ Watters believes adaptors “aren’t realistically an option.” He says they “don’t allow consumers to properly experience



the full DAB offering that we want them to buy into. This type of temporary solution is similar to cheap DAB radios retailing for as little as £25: they are designed to try and get consumers to convert as quickly as possible, but instead offer a poor first experience of DAB which can be extremely detrimental in the long run.” Sony’s Law is also unenthusiastic about adaptors, but isn’t shutting the door on the concept. “It is feasible, but there are downsides to doing this, the primary one being the quality of the audio that is delivered. There are some technical obstacles that have to be overcome and the pricing needs to be right, but if there is a demand, manufacturers will produce product.”

DAB or DAB+? Some media reports on DAB describe it as an outdated technology that should be replaced by DAB+, but DRUK’s Ennals thinks that the issue is overstated. “It’s a difference in compression technology. DAB+ gives you more capacity, but it’s not like the audio version of HDTV. If we were starting again, we would start with DAB+, but there are 12 million DAB radios out there.” Ennals adds that the industry had considered moving to DAB+ but decided to build on DAB with possibly adopting DAB+ through an evolutionary process. For this reason, he thinks manufacturers should be encouraged to include DAB+ in their products and he expects that the forthcoming recommended minimum specification for DAB radios will include DAB+ functionality or upgradability. “As soon as the Government announces that products need to be DAB+, Sony will deliver DAB+ products,” says Ben Law. “We already support both formats and have some DAB+ products in the market right now. But having both DAB and DAB+ tuners carries an additional price premium, which is not good for consumers.” Philips believes that it

is important not to introduce any confusion that may deter the consumer from migration and that we must also maintain a minimum industry standard for DAB. The company adds that DAB and DAB+ are here to stay and will co-exist, “so we need to clearly explain the additional benefits that consumers can expect from the two formats.” Pure already supports DAB+ across its range, says Crawford, “but you can’t ignore the 12 million-plus DAB radios out there, and any move towards DAB+ will need careful planning and involve delivering new services on DAB+, without moving current services off DAB and onto DAB+.”

Internet radio Some media commentators see internet radio becoming the main platform for digital radio, but DRUK’s Ennals disagrees: “If everyone decided to tune into Chris Evans in the morning on the internet, the internet would collapse; it’s not built to stand that level of traffic. There are issues about capacity, infrastructure and cost, and while I see internet radio listening increasing, I don’t see it replacing transmission standards like DAB.” Roberts’ Watters adds that “the Internet offers more choice, especially for more ‘niche’ audiences, and it also gives users additional flexibility, such as streaming music from their PCs.” “The benefits are obvious to those in the know,” says PURE’s Crawford, “but there is incredibly low awareness in the public at this point. The radios are still relatively complicated to set up and use and you need a reasonably fast internet connection, making the format primarily static and home-based, for now.”

Driving take-up A main challenge is how the industry can help boost the take-up of digital radio. Philips says offering in-car solutions like its DAB/CD in-car DIN sized combi units, the CEM3000B and CEM2000B, will help. Philips would also like to see broadcasters maintain a distinct quality-threshold for DAB above and beyond FM. In conclusion, Roberts’ Watters says: “The industry needs to work together and address the four Cs – consumers, content, coverage and cars.” While PURE’s Crawford offers some blunt advice: “We need to work together and stop bickering, and we need to properly support take-up by only bringing out new DAB radios rather than continuing with the release of FM-only units.”


Closing the Sale

John Reddington, who runs management and recruitment consultancy JR Associates and field sales company Big Red Sales, writes this month about one of the most crucial elements in the success of every trading organisation and every sales person who works for it: Closing the Sale


Of course, as with most things in life there is a balance to be struck, and you can’t close a sale without first preparing the ground by engaging the customer, establishing needs, demonstrating, highlighting features and benefits… At the many sales training events I’ve conducted over the years with retailers and manufacturers in our industry and others, there’s been a clear appreciation that the build-up to the sale is very important. We’ll be covering this later in the series, but to whet your appetite, there’s a little competition (see box) to get you thinking about the total process. Now, before we move on to the “classic” closes, one more acronym. It’s one for every salesperson who has ever spent time enthusing about and selling a favourite product, before checking whether stock is readily available: S W A N – Sell What’s Available NOW!

Akin to “Your place or mine?…” which (I’m told) is the most popular close in clubs, pubs and discos, perhaps the most popular in the electrical industry is the “Alternative” or “Choice” close. For example: “Will that be a cheque payment, sir, or would you rather take advantage of our interest-free credit?” If the customer is undecided between alternative products, this close may be something like: “It’s a very close thing between the 7Kg and 8Kg models. Which one do you prefer?” In both cases, whichever answer you receive you are forcing the customer to narrow the options – neither of which is a decision NOT to buy – and this leads to the final stage of getting the sale. The “Fear” close is the second most popular (although the word “fear” might be a little strong, it expresses the customer’s anxiety not to miss out). It might be: “This is the last new model in stock, sir, as this particular Blu-ray machine has had brilliant reviews and sales have soared.” Or perhaps: “Manufacturers tend to increase their prices at this time of year and we‘re facing an increase from the 1st of next month...” (These days TV prices tend to go relentlessly down, but other product categories still introduce price uplifts and increasing inflation may force prices to rise again.)


Variations on a theme These are, of course, just brief examples of the four “classic” closes that will, for many of you, be a refresher rather than new information. And I’m sure seasoned sales people will be saying things like “what about the ‘puppy dog’ close or the ‘half nelson’ close?” These are called “trial closes” and may be the subject of a future column. The variations are infinite, and each sales person has their own versions, favourites and “secret weapons.” I was talking some years ago with an ex-industry trade editor famed for his ability to consume unbelievable quantities of red wine. “Have you not heard of the ‘Sharp Angled Close’, Reddington?” he asked. “No I haven’t,” I replied. “Explain it to me.” I’m still waiting, bless him!

£100 High Street Shopping Voucher

A I C D A is an acronym describing the stages in the sales process which I first learned many years ago with Mars and have carried with me ever since. To enter the competition, simply write down your understanding of what these letters mean, complete the tie-breaker sentence: “I am a good salesperson because…” and email your answers to:

MARCH 2011

First things first

The four types of close

The “Direct” close is exactly what it says and is a statement of fact, such as: “I think we’ve covered the relevant aspects and answered your questions, so if you’d like to follow me to the desk we can complete the paperwork.” Of course, you have to be quite confident to pull off such a bold close, but in cases of customer indecision it can work very well and helps the customer make that important decision that maybe he was a little frightened of. The fourth type of close is called the “Assumptive”, and is used more by the manufacturers than retail sales people. Let me explain... a regular representative gets to know his customer/dealer/retailer and can quite easily help the sales process progress by anticipating established, regular requirements: “I’ll put you down for your usual 20 pieces of 2GB Flash Drive memory Sticks, Bill”... it is also used by retail salespeople when regular customers call into the store and the salesman knows they’ll be wanting – perhaps among other things - their batteries, vacuum cleaner bags or other consumables. Hence the “assume” in the description.



losing the sale is the culmination of a process. Without the close, the most skilful preparation is wasted, so I searched my memory bank to find a way of focusing on the crucial importance of the close. I remembered a visit I made back in the ‘70s to Barry Lawton, who was managing a West Midlands branch of mini-multiple Roy Newton Discount Warehouse (“Discount” was the “in” word back then.) As he strode down the shop to greet me, he paused for a moment to speak to one of his salesmen who was engaged with a customer. ”GTM wants you to phone him after lunch,” he said before moving on. Later, he explained to me that this was his retail staff code for “Close the Sale,” GTM meaning “Get The Money”! He had obviously been watching the salesman taking perhaps rather too long talking to his potential customer, and thought it was time to “close.” This is a perfect example of trying to ensure the sales person focuses on the sale rather than going into too much detail and perhaps missing the overall objective.






In the second of our two-part Doing the Business feature we look at how leading independent Gillmans has made the most of warranty sales.

sponsored by

Demonstration, service & backup


you were to list the must-have features of an independent electrical retail store, being opposite a huge retail park full of the usual suspects of the mass-multiples is probably not one of them. This is exactly the position of Gillmans of Gloucester, a thriving and recently expanded white goods retailer in the shadow of Gloucester Cathedral. Running for over 40 years, the business has a strong commitment to warranty sales, building up an enviable reputation for quality and service along with unrivalled customer loyalty in the area.

“We consider our retail business as being distinctive, and focus primarily on the customer’s aspirations,” comments owner Robert Gillman. “An example of this is our displaying several appliances which are live and set up for working. This enables trained staff to demonstrate the product in more precise detail, allowing the customer to experience the features which may be beneficial to the user. This can be essentially of great consequence if the customer is deciding to make a large or expensive purchase. We aim also to satisfy the customer and provide a professional backup service, and a solid warranty proposition fits extremely well with this philosophy”. A Domestic & General warranty retailer, Gillmans has developed this part of the business over the last few years. Following extensive staff training by Domestic & General, sales of warranties from the single store have grown from a few hundred plans per year in 2005 to well over 1000 in 2010, with a target of 1500 plans for 2011. In financial terms, that is well over £100k of incremental revenue with exceptional margins, good cash-flow dynamics and an intrinsic link with the store’s own service centre.

anties “Sales of warr om a few have grown fr s per year hundred plan ll over in 2005 to we ” 1000 in 2010

In-house facilities Gillmans service centre is an integral part of the company organisation and operates conveniently in-house behind the main showroom. With 13 fully trained and manufacturer - accredited engineers and its own call centre for customers, it is also one of Domestic and General’s approved service centres. This allows Gillmans to keep the entire customer journey in one location.


Jeff Griffiths, Domestic & General’s National Account Director, holds Robert Gillman in the highest regard and considers the store as a casebook study of how an independent can make the most of the warranty proposition: “Gillmans is a real success story in both its core business and in warranty sales penetration. The premise is one of selling a complete service solution, not just a product, and looking after customers to ensure they keep coming back time and time again.”


“We find that customer s listen to our recommendatio ns on additional protection”

Essential analysis

Unlike multi-showroom stores such as Apollo, where peer pressure and regional league tables keep the staff eye on warranty sales, Robert elects to incentivise the staff with straightforward above-the-line cash. Commission on warranty sales is a straight 10% up to a certain target level, and 15% above that. With Gillmans moving up to 600 appliances a week at the busiest times, and

“…well over £100k of incremental revenue with exceptional margins”

Regular training

warranty plans running to up to a £200 retail price, there is a significant financial incentive on offer. “We have nine excellent sales staff in the store, each a specialist in a certain area of the business,” adds Robert. “This makes direct like-for-like warranty sales targets across all staff difficult as, for example, there is a difference in warranty potential on Range Cookers and Built-In appliances compared to inexpensive fridges. With such a loyal customer base and our complete service proposition, we find that customers listen to our recommendations on additional protection.”

Arrangements with D & G for initial training and regular updates, including briefings, are continuous so that staff will hopefully gain confidence consistently. Robert takes great delight in meeting customers both new and old personally, in conjunction with his other obligations as a managing director. In the presence of G C Magazine and within half an hour, whilst photographs of the showroom were being taken, Robert personally greeted several customers on first name terms. Clearly, he sets an example to his staff for creating and nurturing the good relationships that lead to loyal repeat business.

POS an integral part of the mix Point of sale merchandise is also very important to Gillmans, not only from a legal compliance perspective but also to promote what the store terms its Repair Protect Plan. This is essentially the Domestic & General warranty, but Robert likes to personalise the offering and mention the store’s own service centre as part of the sales process. This reassures the customer that Gillmans will

look after them today and into the future. The result of this customer focus is a fabulous looking and successful independent store with an overall warranty penetration around 8% - 9% of all major appliance sales. As Robert concludes: “We look at each and every transaction as more than just a sale; it is an opportunity to show exactly what makes your business better than the competition and build a very loyal customer base into the future.”

MARCH 2011

Incentivising warranty sales



Breaking warranty sales down into hot, wet and cold categories, the store receives figures from Domestic & General allowing it to analyse which categories are performing better or worse than the market average penetration. This is particularly important as Gillmans’ local customer demographic encompasses a wide range of economic groups from Gloucester town and affluent Cheltenham. This demands excellent people and outstanding selling skills from the store staff and an ability to introduce the warranty concept at the right time in the sales journey. “Commission on warranties really does incentivise a majority of the sales staff, with the exception of a few who are not completely motivated, and therefore ongoing staff training is encouraged,” adds Robert.




Q4 helps lift fortunes

Growth from Knowledge

The cooling market turned the corner at the end of 2010 as consumers brought purchases forward to avoid the inevitable price rises at the beginning of 2011. GfK’s Seema Baines reports that sales were driven by the ever-popular combi fridge freezer


saw the cooling market return to growth after experiencing a tough few years. The market grew by 3% in volume and 4% in value compared with 2009, and is now worth £662million. The freestanding sector, which accounts for 90% of volume sales, grew by 3%. But more importantly, the high value built-in segment achieved 4% growth compared to 2009. The overall market was given a boost in Q4 as consumers brought forward their purchases, ahead of the January VAT rise. In the last 3 months of the year it grew by 12% in value compared to Q4 2009, and with average prices 7% higher in December than the year before, evidence suggests that consumers replacing at this time were also trading up.

American-style crash

2-door drivers The long-term decline of the side-by-side market has led to the deranging of products in favour of the more popular, traditional combi fridge freezers, which account for nearly 60% of the total market. This segment has been the key driver of growth for the overall market with sales reaching £384m over the past twelve months, up 7% on the previous year. In the last quarter, and also in December, the segment grew by 13% in volume compared to the same period last year, as consumers brought forward their purchases to avoid the highly speculated price increases that many manufacturers and retailers were expected to bring in at the same time as the VAT increase.

Hazy outlook Whilst Q4 had a positive impact on the full year figures, the outlook for 2011 remains uncertain. With many replacement purchases made at the back of 2010, this will no doubt impact on sales for the year ahead. The January sales period will kick-start the year on a positive note; however, after that we will certainly start to feel the full impact of the Government’s austerity measures.


MARCH 2011

The premium sector for high capacity and American-style fridge freezers has been one of the biggest casualties. Side-by-side cooling fell by 18% in volume and 8% in value over the twelve months to December, to just under £88 million. This market has really felt the impact of the recession as consumers have tightened their belts and turned their backs on these big-ticket items. For side-by-side refrigeration, price is not the only factor affecting sales. Whilst considered an aspirational product by many, few can actually accommodate such large appliances in their kitchens. In

December, however, the market achieved double-digit volume and value growth as consumers took advantage of pre-VAT rise deals offered by retailers left with excess stocks.


 For further information please contact Seema Baines on +44 870 603 8100 or email GfK. Growth from Knowledge



Ambient light T


he ambient light level makes a

has to constantly expand and contract to

Aurea models to an LED-lit bezel around

huge difference to the TV viewing

accommodate these. If a separate, constant

the screen doing likewise. The appeal of

experience, both in the showroom

brightness light source is added, so long

these later variants is very subjective but,

and in the home. A knowledge of this

as it is not directly visible to the viewer, i.e.

of course, it’s possible to switch them off

helps to sell TV sets and enhances the

placed behind the screen, there are two

or revert to simpler effects in the user’s

customer’s opinion of you and your wares.

possible benefits. One is an improvement in

menu. Other settings provide for fixed

Ambient light is all that in the viewing

perceived black level because the viewer’s

colours, various shades and levels of white,

area which does not come from the

pupils are less dilated in the presence of

and illumination during standby. Philips

screen itself.

the light, and because the brain is easily

claims that Ambilight, in addition to the

fooled – see the image above in which

benefits described above, gives a perceived

the centre bar is the same brightness

improvement in picture presence, detail,

A TV screen can only be as dark as its

throughout: if you don’t believe that, mask

contrast and colour. Perception varies

surface when it is switched off or in

off the surround. This largely conceals the

tremendously between different viewers

standby. So the appearance of the darkest

tendency of many thin-screens, both LCD

and buyers, I’ve found.

parts of the picture depends on how much

and plasma, to show grey where black

light is reflected from it. Look at the screens

should be in the picture. The second benefit

Philips products. As we’ve seen above, the

in your shop: their reflectivity varies, and

is a more relaxing and restful, less tiring

basic effect – and most of the advantages

you won’t see a true black when a lot of

viewing experience with reduced risk of

– can be realised by simply placing a dim

light is falling directly on the screen. It

eyestrain due to the reduction in dynamic

light behind the screen, while various

is best, then, to display TVs in subdued

range of the overall light present.

manufacturers and distributors (e.g.

Ideal viewing

Ambilight doesn’t have to be confined to

light if possible. High ambient light levels

The simplest ambient light setup

swamp and dilute the picture’s brightness

consists of a single lamp placed at the

Ambilight lamps and kits, based on LED

and contrast, making higher settings of

centre rear of the screen to light up the wall

arrays and very versatile in their operation

these necessary – higher than is good for

behind. Its brightness should be about 10%

and control. Of course, these are applicable

picture quality. This reflectivity factor is best

of peak picture white, equating roughly to a

to home cinema setups, although it seems

illustrated by a projector’s screen which

25W tungsten lamp or the fluorescent/LED

to be generally agreed that the Ambilight

is white when un-energised and must be

equivalent. Its best colour temperature is

concept works better with small screens

viewed in very low light, as in the cinema.

6500°K, while the ideal wall colour for this is

than giant ones.

So TV viewing should ideally be in the dark to get the best contrast gamut,

grey; stronger colours don’t work as well.

Illuminaire, Visual Heaven etc.) offer add-on

Light sensors

dynamic light range and picture quality. Or


should it? Apart from the inconvenience of

In 2004 Philips began to sell Ambilight

ambient light sensing, in which the image

turning off all the lights in a multipurpose

TV sets. The concept was not new then:

brightness and contrast is regulated by

family living room, there are arguments

in 1951 Sylvania introduced HaloLight

a cabinet-mounted photocell. Certainly

for introducing a carefully regulated and

TVs to the USA, with cold-cathode

there’s a need for different settings of these:

positioned light source when viewing...

fluorescent tubes incorporated in the bezel

what’s required for watching MTV in the

surrounding the CRT screen. The lights

middle of a June day is very different to that

could be dimmed or turned off at will. The

for best viewing of Lark Rise to Candleford

When the TV screen is the only source of

initial Philips implementation consisted of

in front of the fire on a winter evening. Of

light in the viewing area the human eye and

rear-mounted lights to shine on the wall.

course, anything that winds down picture

brain can become fatigued by its constantly

Over the years it developed (perhaps too

brightness is good from the ecological

changing movement and light levels,

far?) into a multicoloured glow whose hue

viewpoint – many of my customers now are

especially on prolonged viewing of, for

continually tracks that of the picture in

green – or mean? – it’s difficult to tell the

instance, action movies. The pupil of the eye

different segments and areas; and then in

difference sometimes!

Ambient light

A common feature in today’s TVs is

MARCH 2011

Alan Bennett looks at lighting conditions for TV viewing


– and Ambilight



” A former footballer with one of the UK’s leading clubs, but nevertheless claiming to be friendly, honest and modest, New Word’s commercial manager Jon Brennan feels an affinity with a left-handed genius and can never remember his wife’s birthday. If he ever landed his dream film role, his wife might have more to worry about than getting her present on the right day Why did you choose to work in the electrical industry? I think the ability to continually innovate and challenge has always appealed to me, and electronics is one of the best industries for achieving this. Also, after working for foreign companies for the past few years, it’s great to come back to a UK business Who in the industry would you like to spend time with? My colleagues here at Glen Dimplex. We have a wealth of knowledge within the business, so that is my focus at the moment What makes you laugh? It depends, but there was a night devoted to Father Ted on TV over Christmas, and I had forgotten just how funny it was What was the greatest turning point in your life? Having children, without a doubt. They have a fantastic disregard for anything remotely work-related, which, after a bad day at the office, can be just what is required! Hobbies? I am in to football and golf in a big way, but I love sport in general What’s the worst lie you’ve ever told? I have never told one! What’s your greatest regret? No regrets, just things that I would do differently given the chance again What historic figure do you identify with most? Leonardo da Vinci – The all-time genius How would you describe yourself? Friendly, Honest, Talkative, Modest (see above)


MARCH 2011

How do you think others see you? You had better ask them, but probably none of the above


What’s your pet hate? I can’t abide rudeness Any bad habits? Biting my fingernails is about it……I think If you weren’t in your present position, what job would you choose to do? I would have to say our New World Brand Manager: she has a fantastic boss Favourite TV programme? I used to be addicted to 24 when it was on. There is nothing that is “must see” at the moment, apart from the football - of course!

What surprises you? My wife’s birthday, as no matter how hard I try and remember the date, it seems to crop up out of nowhere every year Favourite cuisine? It can vary from bacon butties to tapas, but as my waistline will testify, I am not a fussy eater! You have been offered a leading role in a film of your choice, what character would you like to play? Anything opposite Monica Bellucci in the leading role. Failing that, James Bond. He’s like Jason Bourne but with gadgets and a better car You have been offered the opportunity to rule the world for a day, what would be the first change you would make? That I would also get to rule it the following day Is there anything about yourself that you would like to change? If I was as tall as I thought I was, it would be great Do you have any hidden talents? I am sure that I do, but I haven’t found them yet. When I do, you’ll be the first to know Any particular fetishes? Yes, but some things are best left unsaid What would you put into Room 101? The stupid multi-function remote control that I bought last week that refuses to work anything it’s pointed at, no matter what codes I program in to it!

Favourite holiday destination? We have just come back from a holiday in Mexico, and I loved it, although I have to say I think Spain just beats it. I think their lifestyle and culture is fantastic What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you? Nothing too bad has ever happened……touch wood What’s the best kind of punishment…? Banished to the Playboy mansion for a week …and who deserves it? Do I need to answer that?! Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? 40 years old What’s your greatest fear? Spiders and flying in equal measure Who do you most admire? There are far too many people to list, but ultimately, it’s people who put others before themselves. There is a gentleman called Paul Rusesabagina who saved the lives of 1,200 people in Rwanda whilst risking his own life (film Hotel Rwanda) who I have complete admiration for. Their mental strength is amazing What’s your favourite piece of kit? At the moment I am in love with my PSP What motto do you live by? Regret what you did do, not what you didn’t Life is…… Not a dress rehearsal 

What’s your greatest achievement? Family apart, I used to play football for Everton FC when I was younger, so probably that What sort of music do you like? Supertramp, The Who, The Stone Roses. I’ve got quite eclectic taste Favourite quote? “To speak without thinking, is to shoot without aiming.” Not that I ever adhere to it…… Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My family. We are all very close and see each other all the time Name your poison A good red wine What do you daydream about? I have still not given up hope of winning the Premier League playing for Everton

Retail consultant: “Retail spend is becoming concentrated into fewer trips where fewer stores are visited. So, although the overall retail ‘pie’ may continue to get slightly larger, not all retailers will receive a slice. Retailers therefore need to ensure that their proposition exceeds customer expectations, to ensure any spend which is made is made with them.”

A NEW YEAR - A NEW HOW S E D A R T .D D.A 011 26th March 2

, the u, our customer ow will give yo sh e ad tr t ar .D e .A th of The D our new state chance to see s. ce fi of d an se warehou les team and to meet our sa ce an ch e th ve up your sales. You will also ha discuss ideas to d an s er ag an m regional sales clusive ntage of our ex ity to take adva as: un ch rt su po ds op an is br th Use r showcased ou ew vi d an trade offers

Plus many, many mation For more infor

please contact:

MOVING WITH THE TIMES To keep up with the successful development of the company and popular demand, we’ve had to relocate into larger premises. Our new 120,000 sq.ft state of the art warehouse and offices allow us to bring you an even better service, and an even higher continual stock supply. Keeping our prices low, and customers happy! Domestic Appliance Distributors, Henry John House, Northway Lane, Ashchurch, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 8JH


647 440 960

Bob Small on 01

Tel: 0844 854 6715 Fax: 0844 854 6716

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TEL: 0844 854 6715 FAX: 0844 854 6716 Domestic Appliance Distributors, Henry John House, Northway Lane, Ashchurch, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 8JH

Big Sound Small Space

A powerful iPod/iPhone dock with best-in-class audio, Contour brings digital music to life with taut, punchy sound and an open soundstage that’s as detailed as it is dynamic. And with digital, FM and internet radio, and music streaming direct from Mac or PC there’s always something good to listen to. Contour features PURE Clearsound™, our proprietary digital end-to-end audio solution, matched with custom, full-range 3.5” speakers and dual bass ports for 36W RMS of room-filling sound. Great for iPod/iPhone video as well as audio, Contour brings an entire iTunes library to life with composite, component and S-Video outputs for connection to a TV. Contour – the centre of your digital world 0845 148 9002

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28/02/2011 15:46:28

Get Connected: March 2011  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Industry

Get Connected: March 2011  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Industry